10 Fashion Memoirs to Keep You Entertained in Quarantine
Once you’re done with André Leon Talley’s Chiffon Trenches, here’s what to read next.
Former Vogue editor André Leon Talley’s new book, The Chiffon Trenches, may be all fashionphiles can talk about right now, but once you’ve devoured all that tea, check out these 10 other fashion memoirs offering an insightful and captivating peek inside the fashion industry.
D.V. by Diana Vreeland
Famed editor Diana Vreeland, who served as columnist and later fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar, and then editor-in-chief of Vogue from the 1930s through the early ’70s, will long be remembered as one of the sharpest voices in fashion. In her autobiography, she offers readers a snapshot of her whirlwind life—”from English palaces to the nightclubs of Paris in the 1930s to the heart of New York high society, hobnobbing with everyone who was anyone, from Queen Mary to Clark Gable to Coco Chanel.
Grace by Grace Coddington
Model-turned-fashion-editor Grace Coddington has led quite the life. Now 79 and the creative director at large of Vogue, Coddington details the course of her career in this memoir, from her years as a model to her experience in fashion media, at both the British and American editions of Vogue.
Fashion Climbing by Bill Cunningham
Published posthumously, this memoir by the beloved street style photographer Bill Cunningham tells the “story of a young man striving to be the person he was born to be: a true original.” Known for his candid fashion photography for The New York Times, for whom he worked for nearly 40 years, Cunningham was also notoriously private, and the manuscript for this autobiography was discovered by his family only after his death.
Tales from the Back Row by Amy Odell
Promising to reveal “what it’s really like to work in the fashion industry,” this book by Amy Odell, former editor of Cosmopolitan.com and the very first writer at New York magazine’s fashion blog The Cut, charts her rise through the ranks of fashion media, with a behind-the-scenes look at all the larger-than-life characters she met along the way.
My Paris Dream by Kate Betts
A memoir about coming of age as a fashion journalist in 1980s Paris, this book by former Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar editor Kate Betts documents her experiences as a young woman trying to find her way. Front row at fashion shows and in the private ateliers of the biggest names in French fashion, Betts has seen it all.
Dior by Dior by Christian Dior
This autobiography by legendary couturier Christian Dior offers a peek into the behind-the-scenes workings of an iconic French fashion house, as well as insight into the man behind it all. Dior details his childhood in Granville, the family and friends closest to him, the challenges and successes of his fashion career, and more.
Inside Vogue: My Diary Of Vogue’s 100th Year by Alexandra Shulman
The former editor-in-chief of British Vogue, Alexandra Shulman, recounts in this book “the emotional and logistical minefield” of producing the magazine’s 100th anniversary issue (which featured none other than the Duchess of Cambridge). It also documents the planning and execution of the star-studded Vogue 100 Gala, as well as the usual fashion week shows, parties and deadlines that comprise the life of a fashion editor.
The Woman I Wanted To Be by Diane Von Furstenberg
In this 2015 book, legendary fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg reflects on her extraordinary life—from her childhood in Brussels to her days as a young princess (she married a member of a German aristocratic family) to creating the iconic wrap dress that made her a celebrated name. She also writes openly about her family, overcoming cancer, building a global brand, and more.
Accidental Icon by Iris Apfel
Not a memoir so much as a collection of anecdotes and observations on all things style and fashion by the inimitable Iris Apfel, this book is just as witty and irreverent as the 98-year-old style icon herself. Along with Iris’s musings, the book also features 180 colour and black-and-white photos and illustrations.
Seeking Love, Finding Overalls by Leandra Medine
“Not only do I agree with how Leandra dresses, but I also agree with everything she says in these brilliant stories,” the late, great Joan Rivers said of the Man Repeller founder’s 2013 first book. The acclaimed blogger and street style icon recounts in the book her most significant memories through the lens of her sartorial choices—which, as anyone familiar with her style knows, are nothing if not whimsical, irreverent and daring.